Wayne Linklater

Wildlife Biology & Human Dimensions Ecology School of Biological Sciences


Teaching in 2017

Research interests

biology, ecology, animal behaviour, Wildlife, conservation, animal translocation, large mammals, urban ecology

Dr Wayne Linklater profile picture

Research interests

My research interests focus on the ecology, behaviour and management of wildlife, and human-wildlife relationships in urban landscapes.

Large mammal conservation and management

The rhinoceros research project in South Africa began in 2001 and aims to better understand the behaviour and ecology of rhinoceros, particularly as it might benefit meta-population management by translocation. The programme collaborates with a concurrent conservation initiative by WWF-SA and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, called the Black Rhinoceros Range Expansion Project, to investigate rhinoceros biology during translocation and the dynamics of source and reintroduced populations and their habitat.

Scent-broadcasting experiments are being conducted to test the efficacy of rhino dung to manage habitat-use and social interaction after rhinos are released into new sites or removed from source populations. Investigations include understanding the role of stress and diet, and therefore management and husbandry, as the cause of male-biased rhinoceros birth sex ratios in captivity and after translocation in collaboration with the International Rhino Foundation.

Human-biodiversity relationships in urban landscapes

There is a great need for ecologists to collaborate with psychologists, landscape architects, and human geographers to measure the human-centric value of functioning ecosystems and biodiversity in urban landscapes. From an ecologist’s perspective, revealing the positive relationships between people and biodiversity would greatly enhance the interest of a more diverse public and policy makers in conservation.

My current projects seek to quantify relationships between people and biodiversity and the consequences of that relationship for conservation. How people interact with wildlife (i.e., wildlife feeding and conflict), the consequences of that interaction for environmental awareness and actions, contemporary ecological knowledge, and human well-being is a fascinating and multi-disciplinary field. For conservation ecologists such relationships become important when they feedback positively to enhance biodiversity conservation.

The project involves collaborative work with Dr Michael Gavin (School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences) and A/ Prof Penny Alan (School of Architecture).

Selection of publications

Linklater W, Adcock K, du Preez P, Swaisgood R, Law P, Knight M, et al. 2011. Guidelines for large herbivore translocation simplified: black rhinoceros case study. Journal of Applied Ecology 48(2): 493-502.

Linklater W, Cameron E. 2009. Social dispersal but with philopatry reveals incest avoidance in a polygynous ungulate. Animal Behaviour 77: 1085-1093.

Linklater W, MacDonald E, Flamand J, Czekala N. 2010. Declining and low fecal corticoids are associated with distress, not acclimation to stress, during the translocation of African rhinoceros. Animal Conservation 13: 104-111.

Linklater W. 2007. Translocation reverses birth sex ratio bias depending on its timing during gestation: evidence for the action of two sex allocation mechanisms. Reproduction, Fertility and Development 19: 831-839.

Linklater WL. 2003. A novel application of the Trivers-Willard model to the problem of genetic rescue. Conservation Biology 17: 906-909.